This is my first book review on my blog. The reason a person does book reviews is to either warn someone not to read it or to encourage peoeple to read it. Because of that, I have made a decision about the book reviews I do on this blog. I want to really put my money where my mouth is, so for every book that I think is worthwhile, after I review it, I will give one copy away at random. To be entered, simply comment on the review or for my twitter friends, retweet about the review and blog to be entered. The winner will be notified in my next blog (so you will have to come back to see if you won) within two days. Okay? Sound fun? It will begin with this review as I think this book is a worthwhile read for you. So comment or tweet away.
Tap is a recently released book by Yancey Arrington, who is the teaching pastor of Clear Creek Community Church in League City, Texas. Just a couple weeks ago, I saw this book publicized somewhere (I think through a twitter post) and thought it would be interesting to read since I continue to struggle with sin in my life. I am not much into MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), in fact, I am not sure I have ever even watched one event. That doesn’t mean I didn’t appreciate or understand his point as his title and many illustrations are taken from MMA. This is a book about defeating the sins that defeat you. He wants the reader to understand that instead of tapping out to the sin in your life, being defeated, you need to live a life that makes sin tap out of your life—you can be victorious against sin.
I think one of the things that caught my eye about this book is how heavily he said he would rely upon the puritan John Owen, whom he says is your coach throughout the book. He even says at the end that his book is “Owen for those who won’t read Owen” (118). However, he does want you to read Owen’s book called On the Mortification of Sin in Believers which has been recently released by Crossway with some introductory comments by Kelly Kapic & Justin Taylor, retitled: Overcoming Sin and Temptation. Owen is famous for his statement “Be killing sin or it will be killing you,” and it is this thought that is taken throughout the book—we need to be killing sin in our life.
I will say that not much in this book was new to me, but it was a very helpful reminder that sin never takes time off. He says “You must recognize that when you wake up sin is right next to you and has already had its morning jog. Embrace the fact that when you go to bed, sin will be up late in the kitchen planning tomorrow’s attack” (27).
In my estimation, the highlights of the book were Chapter 5: Repenting of Repenting and Chapter 6: Contender Repentance. It was very helpful to think through whether the times that I repent of my sin and then go right back to it was really repentance or whether it was some sort of worldly sorrow over my actions. He says “The act of repenting can itself be sinful when done with a heart seeking only to alleviate personal discomfort at the expense of a real relationship with God” (77).
I did wish he would have been a bit more specific, giving some very practical suggestions for tapping out sin in your life. His conclusion for tapping out sin was first and foremost the gospel! It is “belief before behavior” (98). It was a helpful reminder that when I am tempted, I must reflect back upon the gospel and realize that I am no longer a slave to that sin. I have been set free from it.
Let me end with one great quote towards the end of the book. It involves spiritual disciplines in our life. He says, “If I’m feeling guilty because I missed a ‘Quiet Time’ one morning, then I’ve also missed something else: the very reason I was doing devotional times to begin with! Disciplines, used properly, should confirm in our hearts the wonderful grace we have received in the gift of Jesus Christ” (110).
Fight sin today! Don’t tap out today! Use the gospel as a transformational tool in your life!